Tavistock Consulting

Operating through Tavistock Consulting, our specialist consultancy business, we work below the surface to tackle the hard to reach issues that are limiting the performance of organisations, teams and leaders across all sectors. 

Man writing (ado-490)

There are many hidden dynamics to organisational behaviour, and we can help you make sense of the unspoken, the complex and the difficult areas in your own organisation – to understand ‘what’s really going on’.  

Our consultants will help you focus on the relationships between individuals, their roles, the work of your organisation and the environment in which it operates.  This in turn can help you manage organisational change and development, as well as issues around leadership, authority and delegation.

 Our services include:

  • Organisational consultancy
  • Executive coaching
  • Team development
  • Board development
  • Leadership and senior team development (with an emphasis on system leadership)
  • Specialist mediation
  • Action Learning Sets
  • Organisational design and change management
  • Training and programme facilitation
  • Group Relations Conferences.

Our approach and thought leadership in the field is recognised internationally.  What makes us different is we:

  • get under the surface of the dynamics to understand why things may not work as well as they could
  • make the system visible - in all its manifestations, with the belief that the system is represented by and in all members
  • encourage learning through shared experience – in our view this is at the core of making change stick
  • work on real life challenges in context and ensure that it leads to action. 

We have four core focus areas: effective leadership, high performing teamssuccessful mergers & integration and when work goes wrong.

Understanding group and organisational dynamics has been an integral part of the Tavistock enterprise since its inception.  Failures in leadership after World War I led early Tavistock pioneers to study the attributes necessary for effective leadership, and so began a long tradition of work with organisations and with leaders and managers.  Some of the leading thinkers and theories in group dynamics, leadership and organisational consultancy originated here.  

Tavistock Consulting trains others in consulting to organisations to Masters and Doctoral level.  Our university accredited courses are part of the Trust’s training portfolio.  We also offer training in executive coaching, which confers senior practitioner status with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, and professional development courses in leading change and de-coding group dynamics.  

For further information on consultancy services please see the Tavistock Consulting website or contact them here.

Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Why did you approach the Tavistock to organise your training?

We are in a time of significant change and scarcity within the NHS and leadership has never been more challenging. When the opportunity arose to review and redesign our clinical leadership programme, we felt it an ideal opportunity to develop a programme based on a system-psychodynamic approach, so that new leaders might begin to understand how the wider system and unconscious processes may impact upon their ability to lead effectively.

Two of the facilitators had completed the D10 masters programme in Consulting and Leading in Organisations, and were therefore already aware of the quality and depth of training that Tavistock Consulting provide and alongside the experience and insight of the joint head of integrated training, the partnership work was commissioned.

How did you find the process of organising your training?

Throughout the design stage of the clinical leadership training programme we worked in close collaboration with Tavistock Consulting. During this time, we very much valued being able to step back, reflect and discuss the complexities around the design with consultants who came with a vast realm of experience in the design of leadership programmes. Undertaking this collaborative process ensured that we were able to design a bespoke programme to meet the specific needs of our staff.

What as a result of the training will you and/or your staff do differently as a result of the training?

The clinical leadership programme has recently started and the initial feedback is very positive. We had a record number of applicants this year and had to operate a selection process. I have no doubt that this was linked to the fact that we are now working in partnership with Tavistock Consulting, coupled with an organisational knowledge that strong leadership skills depend upon a capacity to develop an awareness of the role of the unconscious at different levels including at an individual, self as a leader level, at a team level and at a wider the system/organisational level. 

The training programme will provide our newly emerging  and talented leaders with precious experience, knowledge and insights into what happens in human services industries below the surface, as well as above the surface with the ultimate goal of being able to keep to task and lead our teams and provide the best possible healthcare during these significantly challenging times.

Alison Wragg

Head of Occupational Therapy for Westminster Mental Health Services
Service Manager for Specialist Therapies (KCW Psychotherapy Services & Waterview Centre)


Student

Why did you approach the Tavistock to organise your training?

I had worked for many years as a manager in the NHS, but felt that gaining a better theoretical understanding of how organisations work, and a practical training in working with a system would help me to develop leadership skills and support staff through turbulent times in healthcare. I chose the Tavistock because its focus on both systemic and unconscious processes promised to be a good fit with what my experience had taught me to think was important.

How did you find the process of organising your training?

The application process for the Master’s level course was helpful in encouraging me to examine my investment in studying and my willingness to be open to new and often challenging ideas. Right from the pre-course assessment event it was clear that studying  would involve being constantly present as a reflective person – that simply absorbing information efficiently would not be good enough.

What as a result of the training will you and/or your staff do differently as a result of your training?

First and foremost my training has encouraged me to stay curious, not to hang on to familiar ways of thinking and doing because they seem safe. I have gained confidence in my ability to pay attention to conscious and unconscious processes simultaneously and to find a way to integrate an awareness of both individual and systemic issues.

Psychologist and manager working in NHS mental health services and third sector 


Student

Why did you approach the Tavistock to organise your training?

The Tavistock’s reputation around the emotional realities of what may be going on in a situation was what led me to find out more. From then, their systems-psychodynamic thinking on a particular topic I was focusing on – namely the way organisations are approaching managing different working practices and needs – deepened my interest to the point where I wanted to get qualified in their approaches myself, so that I could use them in my own work. 

How did you find the process of organising your training?

Joining my particular courses was straightforward: tutors were helpful, offering the opportunity to speak further, to explore whether it was what I was looking for.  

What as a result of the training will you and/or your staff do differently as a result of your training?

My whole working practice has shifted since undertaking both the Tavistock training courses that I did. Doing them confirmed a development move I was interested in making, as they provided – with my own previous professional experience – the platform necessary to be able to work from this perspective moving forward. 

Since the training, I think differently about what I am experiencing in group situations, and I work differently in one to ones. My perception has shifted to include the role the unconscious might be playing, and to think about what the system/organisation may each be bringing to what may look like more of an individualised or team-based picture.

Fiona Bioletti, organisational consultant, executive and team coach  

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